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With help from Omega counter-terrorism unit, State Police rescues a hostage held captive on a yacht

Photo: State Police.
On Wednesday, 3 October, Latvian State Police received information that a Latvian citizen was being held captive on board a yacht in the waters of the Baltic Sea.

With involvement from State Police Omega counter-terrorism unit, National Armed Forces and Latvian State Border Guard, a rescue operation was performed. Thanks to their combined efforts it was possible to release the kidnapped man and arrest the suspect, as reported by State Police.

Around 08:00 in the morning on 3 October, State Police received information regarding possible kidnapping of a 1965-born man. The kidnapped man was found on board of a yacht in the Baltic Sea. The victim had reported what happened to his relatives, who then contacted State Police.

Criminal Investigation Office of the Main Criminal Police Department of the State Police immediately commenced the necessary operative and investigative activities. Considering the seriousness of the situation, operatives of State Police Omega counter-terrorism unit, Latvia’s National Armed Forces and State Border Guard were asked to assist in preparing the rescue operation. A helicopter of Latvia’s National Armed Forces was deployed from Riga to Roja, the closest last known location of the yacht. War ships of Latvian National Armed Forces and State Border Guard patrol ship were also involved in the operation, police report.

Police stress that it is thanks to close cooperation among all involved services it was possible to determine the exact location of the man. The kidnapped man was found on board a yacht in the Baltic Sea gulf, approximately one hour journey away from the coast.

‘Around 13:00, the hostage crisis was resolved. The possible kidnapper was apprehended as well. The suspect is a 1971-born captain of the vessel. According to available information, the man has no criminal record,’ police explain.

The victim and suspect know one another. According to the victim, he was brought from Sweden to Latvia against his will. There was no one else on board the yacht at the time of the operation. The investigation continues. Both the suspect and victim are Latvian citizen, State Police adds.

Looking back at the operation, Chief of Criminal Police Department’s Homicide Investigation Office of State Police Romāns Jašins says: ‘We react to every call in order to save lives. A large number of police officers, soldiers and border guard officers were involved in this operation, and it is not important how much of our resources are used to achieve the goal!’

A criminal process has been launched in accordance with Part 1 of Section 153 of the Criminal Law –abduction of a person.


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